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New Dogs fer Auld Tricks

Brasse -- 2007-02-27 13:46:37

I love being a Mystic in EQII. I really, really do. It is still my favorite class after some two years of playing the game. If I weren't a Mystic, I'd be a Defiler, the ebil side of the Shamanic coin.

For myself and other Shaman*, such as Forrkie, my rant-companion when things go wrong in game, we have but one real complaint. Complaint about the class, that is - we can complain endlessly and loudly about any number of other topics, with or without beer in hand. Dwarven racial trait, you know!

I digress... The complaint:
Our Shamanic pet, the Spirit Companion, is both a boon and an eternal source of mind-numbing, fork-in-eye-stabbing frustration.

Not only is the thing not housebroken, and an inveterate mailman biter, but he has no will to live. He takes ten seconds to cast and one millisecond to die. A stray breeze can kill him off.

A great many of my Alternate Advancement points are sunk into improving the skills and benefits of the Spirit Companion, but in spite of the many advantages of having him around, I admit that in most dungeons, I simply do not call him out. I have noticed that I am not the only Shaman who goes dogless into the dark places. We've really had enough of the hassle.

In battle, recasting is out of the question. In the relative eternity that it takes to recast and rebuff the pet, I can lose a number of group members. Even between fights, most groups are palpably impatient by the seventh time they have to wait for me to recast and rebuff the death-doggie. You can hear their eyes roll - or maybe that is their foot tapping, I can never tell. The heavy sighs of impatience can be a bit much if they have had a lot of garlic recently.

I try hard to keep the doggy alive. I don't let him go in too early, and I pull him out at the first sign of injury. I am usually lucky enough to have a smart tank who turns the mobs away from the party, such that when I send the pet in, he faces the back of the beast and can threby avoid frontal AoE, but should a passing gnat land on his head, he dies.

The Spirit Companion in EQII makes me pull my beard out. I'd give several plat (ok, several of Wren's plat) for a way to make him recast instantly, or die less often.
I will pray to Brell for a new AA or ability line to be added in a future expansion, hehe.

Meanwhile, I guess it's just a friggin pain in the butt challenge that we have to accept in return for the Shamanic classes being so damn good, hehe.

My point?
In these comics, the part of my Spirit Companion will be played by my dog, Griff. If he is half as good at finding glowies as he is at finding buried mushrooms in our yard, he's a winner... and I don't think there is a mob fast enough to catch him when he doesn't want to be caught.

~Brasse

* There is ongoing debate on the correct plural expression for the term "Shaman". Some say Shaman, some say Shamen, some say tomato. For ten bonus points, do my homework for me, and post on the forums with the properly documented answer. Wren and immediate family members of Wren Inc. are ineligible for participation.
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